Chapter 25. Ana is going back to Seattle. She cries. Her mom cries. Ana’s mom tells her to “follow [her] heart.” On the flight, she thinks about Grey and the love he lacked as a child. She “needs” him to love her. More rumination follows about his self-loathing, his private pain, and then back to Miss Self-Absorbed – what did I say in my sleep?
She emails from her phone. Drunk emails about twitchy palms, and her “smart mouth.” However, he’s not himself, at least as far as Ana is aware. She notices again that the seat next to her is empty. Did he buy that seat, too? Surely he’s not that controlling. Um, are you SURE about that? You’ve met the man, and indulged in his playtime. I think it’s very likely he wouldn’t want you chatting anyone up.
Taylor picks her up from the airport. She tries to ask about Grey, but Taylor is reticent. She’s unsure what to expect from Grey. He ends his phone call quickly and hurriedly begins to maul her. He commands her to the shower, where he backs her against the wall, and heads for a spell of “downtown” action, then pushes her against the wall and they go at it.
They shower. She shares her job news, then asks if he’ll attend José’s art show with her. He says he will, and then she asks if she can ever touch him. Instead of answering, he keeps her turned to the wall, and has sex with her again. Don’t you see the pattern here, Dim Bulb? Everytime there’s something important, he stops it with sex.
She asks about the “situation,” but he doesn’t want to talk about that. He wants HER to be a situation. Or in a situation. He wants her in the “playroom” in fifteen minutes, and her closet is full of clothes; he doesn’t want to hear any guff. Ana wonders about “her” room, as she thought they would sleep together; but you still can have your own space and not sleep there.
Anyway, she thinks while she waits in the “playroom” about how Grey has been this evening. Grey comes in and begins taking objects out of a chest, but she’s being good and not peeking. He stands her up and reminds her that there are safe words. She’s about to get lippy, and he warns her if she does, he will stopper it with his Earl, if’n you know what I mean.
The safe words are not about pain, but intensity. And touch. She’s going to be tied to the bed, blindfolded, and have her ears plugged with music. First, he grabs a beating implement. Then, he braids her hair so that he has a leash. He has a flogger in his hands. Then he puts the earbuds in, cuffs her wrists and ankles, then plays some aria whilst he runs some furry things over her skin. Maybe that’s his secret! Then he trails the flogger until he suddenly whaps it down on her stomach, and goes all over her upper and lower body with it. “I’ve entered a very dark, carnal place.” Then he gets on top and replaces the fur and flogger with himself. But he teases her with his Earl, letting her Instant Orgasm build and then die away. He starts doing it in time to the music. And then, she “free falls” into another orgasm.
Afterward, he massages her shoulders, and he’s never done anything sexual to that song, but always wanted to. She asks again what she said in her sleep. Cages, strawberries, more, and she missed him. She’s relieved that’s all, so they banter stupidly, and he says she’s “hiding something,” and he “may have to torture it out.” Is that the next chapter? Are we fucking done yet?